Fetal alcohol syndrome disorder pilot media intervention in New Jersey
Can J Clin Pharmacol Vol 15(1) Winter 2008:e124-e131;February 26, 2008
Original Research
O Awopetu, M Brimacombe, D Cohen

Background: The New Jersey Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Task Force launched the “Be in the kNOw” multimedia public education campaign in July 2006. The campaign continued until December 2006.

Objective: To report on the pilot media intervention campaign in Essex and Atlantic Counties, New Jersey, with the goal of identifying strategies to help prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD).

Methods: The campaign used various media outlets from July 2006 to December 2006, including billboard posters along New Jersey transit routes serving Atlantic City and Newark, local newspapers and radio public service announcements. Messages were distributed in English and Spanish and were primarily aimed at Essex and Atlantic counties. Printed material was distributed throughout the community. All media materials included an 800 number for the New Jersey Family Health Line. Data was collected from individual callers.

Results: A total of 49 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) related telephone calls were received through the Family Health Line over the six-month period. An increase from the 5-6 FAS calls typically received in a six-month period. Callers were located throughout New Jersey with 24.5% from Essex County, 12.2% from Mercer County, and 12.2% from Bergen County. 69% of callers identified themselves as white, 25% black, and 6% other. 76% of callers were female. Ages ranged from 8 to 50.

Conclusion: The media intervention reached a wide geographic audience, provoking interest beyond the initial target area and expected age ranges. The results, however, point to the difficulty of raising awareness of FASD.

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